The Handmaid’s Tale (1986), Margaret Atwood

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.

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First look at my Hobonichi Techo 2018

I know it’s only September but for someone like me who has a slight addiction to planners, it is never too early to be prepared for next year. My favorite planner of late is the Hobonichi Techo. You might have heard about this little notebook from Japan if you frequent a lot of notebook and/or pen sites and discussion boards, or if you like to pin pretty journal ideas on Pinterest. I heard about it a few years ago when I was just starting my fountain pen obsession but at that time I thought I was already satisfied with my Midori Traveler’s Notebook. Apparently, I wasn’t.

Hobonichi in a box: an A6 Original, a Hydrangea cover, A6 weekly supplement notebook and the free pen and meal decider dice.

The Hobonichi Techo is a product of Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun in Japan and has been around since 2002. It has four types: the A6 size Original (Japanese), the A6 size Planner (English), the A5 size Cousin and the wallet size Weeks. They have a very efficient website where you can order the techos along with a collection of cute covers and accessories. They usually release their January start planners on September and I was one of those who ordered immediately upon release. I was never a patient person when it comes to the things I like.

My first Hobonichi Techo was an A6 English Planner and it was a result of an impulsive buy during a trip in Japan. I chanced upon a stationary shop inside a building and I felt like I was in my paradise being surrounded by different kinds of notebooks, pens, and accessories. I would’ve bought a lot if it was not due to luggage weight limit and budget limit. So, I left with only the Planner in hand. It took a while for me to figure out my system using the Planner because with a Hobonichi anything is possible. The flexibility of the design of the notebooks and endless possibilities on how it is used are what attracted me to it.

For next year, I decided to go with the A6 Original. The Planner was ok but I think the design of the Original would fit me better. I thought the language (it being Japanese) would be a bother, but it doesn’t seem to be so. The design of the notebook, I find, is quite easy to understand.

The A6 Original inside the Hydrangea cover. I like how feminine it looks.

I ordered online on the Hobonichi website. Choosing the cover was harder compared to choosing the type of Techo, but in the end I got the Hydrangea book + cover set. There is an option to purchase a book individually, without the cover. However, if you purchase the set on the website, you will get some freebies. This year, the freebies include a 3-color pen, a plastic Cover on Cover and a meal decider die. I have yet to use the included pen as I prefer to use my fountain pen as my writing instrument.

Hydrangea cover + 3-Color Ballpen + Meal decider dice

The A6 Original, like with the Planner, consists of a Yearly Calendar, a Monthly Calendar, and Daily Pages. It has a grid design on its pages and it uses Tomoe River paper, which is amazingly light yet sturdy and could withstand fountain pen inks. Some users even use watercolor on it but I have yet to try that. Inspiring quotes are written on the bottom of the daily pages but, unfortunately, they are in Japanese. There are also some interesting details about Japan included at the back of the notebook (which are also in Japanese) and a few blank pages for memo.

Yearly Calendar

Monthly Calendar

Daily Pages: One day per page

I think the highlight of the techo is its Daily Pages which have a one day per page format. I like how this kind of format helps me focus on the to-dos of the day and record as well my thoughts, ideas and activities of that day. Imagine, a year’s worth of plans and moments inside a tiny notebook?! And, compared to the Planner, the Original also includes a 24-hour timeline and a to-do list on its daily pages. Since I intend to use the techo mostly as my planner, these would be very helpful.

Unfortunately, the A6 doesn’t include a Weekly Calendar and I had to get a separate notebook for that. Let’s see if this setup will make me more productive and efficient next year.

The A6 Original with the A6 Weekly notebook

The downside of having a planner this early for next year is that I have to wait a few months more before it could fully be of use. For now, I could only admire it and caress its smooth pages. New notebooks/planners never fail to make me feel giddy inside.

Do you also have a planner set up for next year already?

The girl with a diary

I have found comfort, at an early age, in writing. I grew up with only younger brothers as siblings and they would rather wrestle with each other than listen to me talk about my life. So, I was mostly left to entertain myself on my own. Which, I didn’t really mind as I enjoy being alone with only books and a notebook and a pen as companions. I enjoy getting lost in the books I read or in the words I write. With a pen and paper, I could create a world that is only mine.

What started as my attempt to write short stories turned into a daily log of random things. I was a shy girl growing up and I was never comfortable in expressing myself to other people that I turned to writing to express myself. My notebooks became my confidantes and witnesses to my life’s stories. In notebooks, I poured my joys and sadness, shared my secrets and doubts, and talked about things I like. My instant reaction when I thought of an idea or felt happy or sad was to write in my notebook. Writing became my way of dealing with real life and it has helped me keep my sanity a lot of times.

Now, as I begin new chapters in my life, I turn to writing again. Instead of notebooks, I challenge myself to try a different medium and start a blog to chronicle and share my life’s stories. For years, my stories have been hidden inside notebooks which only I could see. Maybe it’s time that I open myself more up and share some of my stories to other people. This action scares me to death but, still, here I go.

To help you have some understanding on the topics I would talk about, here’s a little introduction of myself: I enjoy reading novels, exploring new lands, trying out different dishes and places to eat, playing with makeup products on my face, hoarding pens and notebooks, and being a mom to a wonderful little girl. Coffee and cake would always put me in a happy mood, and rainy days make me smile.

There are more things to write and talk about as we go along my blogging journey. For now, I bid you welcome and hope you enjoy my stories.